. ENTER . Japan - after the BIG

[ . BACK to Daily Reports . ]

The Big Earthquake March 11, 2011, 14:46

magnitude 9:0

. Tohoku Region Pacific Ocean Offshore Earthquake .


. Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster .
. Great East Japan Earthquake .

earthquake night -
the stars are as silent
as ever

. Great Eastern Japan Earthquake .


. 明治三陸大津波 Meiji Sanriku Dai Tsunami 1896 .
The story of Fukuji and his descendants today
- Tono Monogatari now and then -
北川福二 Kitagawa Fukuji (1860 - 1929)
Tōno monogatari 遠野物語 Tono Monogatari - Tales of Tono


Presented by Dr. med. Gabi Greve
Okayama prefecture

Daruma Museum Japan
World Kigo Database

. Daruma for Tohoku .

My home is about 1000 km away from the atomic reactors.
We live high up in the mountains, no worry about tsunami.

I will try and compile a daily report after this triple event of

Fukushima reactor

Please use the sidebar on the right to navigate this BLOG.

As time goes by (now April 11, 2011) there are more rumors spreading and opinions vented.
The damage at the nuclear plant in Fukushima has been upgraded to level 7, like Chernobyl.

I am trying to keep cool amongst all this.

Most entries are a mix of haiku and facts,
from the NHK WORLD online bulletins.

I will try to feature the latest news about the development after the earthquake.


. . . . . : after July 11, 2011

I have to stop the intensive daily reporting.

I will try and keep separate updates on the information of the following topics:

. Radiation problems - INFO .

. Reconstruction efforts - INFO .

. The Political Situation .  INFO .

. Hamaoka Power Plant . INFO .


. Join the Discussions on Facebook .


. Nai no kami 地震神 .  
The Japanese god of earthquakes

god of earthquakes -
what does it take
to keep you quiet ?

Thank you, Origa san, for your haiga.
Let us hope Nai no Kami accepts this offering.

. Our Haiku Collection of this BLOG .


The Super Earthquake March 11, 2011
magnitude 9:0
with a huge tsunami of more than 10 meters

. Tohoku region Pacific Ocean
offshore earthquake .


. The Great Wave by Hokusai 北斎 津波 .
has become a symbol of the Tsunami.

. Earthquake Daruma .

. 東北三十六不動尊霊場
Pilgrimage to 36 Fudo Temples in Tohoku .


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


- March 11, 2014 - Remember 2011

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

The fourth year after the earthquake starts !

three years later -
nothing can erase
these memories

March Eleven -
the power of death
and life

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  

. Remember March 11, 2013, 14:46  

. Hokusai : The Great Wave and the Tsunami .

In Retrospect
. - The End of the Year 2011 - .


. . . Joys of Japan . . .

Join the Friends on Facebook !

NHK Earthquake Charity Song
Hana wa Saku 花は咲く Flowers Will Bloom

Please take your time to listen here:
source : vimeo.com

MORE videos to watch groups singing for 2013:
. NHK - www.nhk.or.jp/ashita .


List of Tohoku Initiatives

This is a {preliminary} list of groups, individuals, and institutions active in the disaster hit area of Tohoku in northern Japan, or of projects elsewhere in Japan that can serve as good practice examples for reconstruction.
In its current state,
it represents an unsystematic, broad collection of various projects of differing scopes and scales. In the long-run, however, we aim to provide a systematic database and map of who is doing what, where, how, and with which success in the fields of alternative energy, community building, multi-generation housing, transportation, architecture, master plans, agriculture, economic development, and art & design.
source : tpf2.net/initiatives

Japan earthquakes 2011
Visualization map
source : www.youtube.com


Gabi reports:

March eleven -
I turn the calendar leaf
with a heavy heart  

. TEPCO - Problems in 2014 .


Bulletins from NHK Online - March 2014

- - - - - March 4
Fukushima town to start rebuilding
A town that co-hosts the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has signed a deal with a government-affiliated agency to rebuild part of the town's infrastructure during the next 4 years.
All 10,000 residents of the town of Okuma were evacuated due to the nuclear accident 3 years ago.
The municipality will start work on the Ogawara district as the first step in rebuilding the community. The government's decontamination efforts have decreased radiation levels in Ogawara, in the southern part of the town. Residents are allowed to visit the district but not to live there.
The municipality hopes to have electricity, water and other infrastructure in place by the end of March 2017.
Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe and Ikuo Kaminishi, president of the semi-public Urban Renaissance Agency, signed a memorandum on Monday to get the project under way.
Watanabe said reconstruction in the area will be the first step toward rebuilding Okuma. He said he hopes to start work as soon as possible with the agency's help.
The town and agency plan to hold further discussions so they can reach a more detailed agreement in fiscal 2014.

- - - - - March 5
More quake-affected families separating
An NHK survey shows that an increasing number of people who evacuated after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have left the temporary housing where their families live.

NHK conducts an annual survey at a temporary housing complex in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture. The 1,100-unit Kaisei housing complex is the largest in the affected areas.
370 people responded to the 3rd survey this year. 33.2 percent said some family members have gone to live elsewhere. That's a 40 percent increase from the survey taken 2 years ago.
38.4 percent said their families had to split up because the living space was too small. Some others cited worsening family relations and divorce.
Professor Yasuo Yamazaki of Ishinomaki Senshu University, who studies the lives of the evacuees at the Kaisei complex, says younger people are leaving temporary housing because it is inconvenient to commute to work or school.
He says it is important that municipalities and volunteer groups work together to support those elderly people who tend to get left behind.

- - - - - March 7
Survey: 74% of voluntary evacuees not returning
An NHK survey has found that many voluntary evacuees from Fukushima are still haunted by radiation fears and plan to live outside the prefecture for good.
NHK conducted the survey ahead of the 3rd anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Following the March 2011 accident, at least 25,000 people who lived outside government-designated evacuation zones left the prefecture voluntarily. NHK received responses from 307 such people.
Results show that 74 percent are planning to stay where they are now or find a new place to settle down. Some of these people had returned to Fukushima at one point but decided to flee again. Many of them cited fears about radiation and possible exposure.

65 percent of the respondents said their household budgets are squeezed, due mostly to a decline in income and savings. Transportation costs were also cited as a heavy burden.
Voluntary evacuees are subject to partial waivers of expressway tolls and limited housing support under a government program.
The survey respondents included 129 households in which the husbands are staying in Fukushima but their wives live separately.

97 percent of them said the husbands have work in the prefecture. 25 percent of the couples cited conflicting views on evacuation and radiation as the reasons for living apart.

37 percent of the couples that live apart said family ties have deteriorated.

60 percent said they were consulting their partners less about personal concerns and about 70 percent said they talk less.

23 percent of the overall respondents had divorced or were planning to divorce.

Kenichiro Kawasaki co-leads an aid group called the Save Fukushima Children Lawyers' Network that is supporting the voluntary evacuees.
Kawasaki says the evacuees need thorough assistance that serves their needs. He notes they have the right to evacuate under law, so they should be granted necessary support to ease the financial strain of being displaced for a long time.

- - - - - March 9
Survey shows 60% see little progress in rebuilding
More than 60 percent of the people responding to a survey see little progress in efforts to reconstruct areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted the nationwide survey from November to December of last year. It covered 3,600 people aged 16 or older. Sixty-eight percent responded.
55 percent of the respondents said reconstruction efforts are showing little progress, and 9 percent said they see no progress at all.
The survey also asked how respondents feel about efforts to decontaminate areas affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
13 percent said they recognize progress, while 85 percent saw little progress.
The survey also asked about the largest task for the Japanese government in the reconstruction process.
45 percent of the respondents cited handling the effects of the nuclear accident.
Associate Professor Reo Kimura of the University of Hyogo says many people affected by the disaster still cannot imagine what the areas and towns will look like after rebuilding. He says that, therefore, people are unable to sense that recovery is making progress.
Meanwhile, another survey shows that the number of corporate bankruptcies believed to result from the disaster was nearly 1,500.
Credit research firm Teikoku Databank says there were 1,485 such bankruptcies since the disaster through last month.
It says the failed companies had a total of more than 21,000 employees.

Anti-nuclear protest on 3rd-year anniversary

Anti-nuclear activists staged a rally in Tokyo on Sunday ahead of the 3rd anniversary of the March 11th accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The protesters marched through the streets toward the Diet building. They held up placards demanding the elimination of nuclear power plants for the protection of children.
They surrounded the parliament building, saying the nation's nuclear plants should not be restarted.
The organizer said about 10,000 people took to the streets. Police put the figure at about 4,000.

- - - - - March 10
Abe calls for accelerating reconstruction efforts
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed his Cabinet to further accelerate reconstruction efforts from the March 11th 2011 tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disasters.
He and his Cabinet ministers attended a joint meeting of the Nuclear Disaster Taskforce and the Reconstruction Council on Monday, the eve of the 3rd anniversary of the calamity.
The Prime Minister said it is important to support the livelihoods of the long-time evacuees and to restore their workplaces. In particular, he called for efforts to prevent the elderly from living in isolation and for providing mental care for children. ...
... The prime minister said it is important to take the opportunity not only to rebuild disaster areas but to address problems such as the declining population, the aging society, and the hollowing out of industry.
He added that the government will work to create a new Tohoku region that will serve as a model for Japan and the world.

- - - - - March 11
NRA head urges recalling 2011 nuclear disaster
Tuesday marks the 3rd anniversary of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami and the ensuing nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The head of Japan's nuclear watchdog has urged officials on its staff to keep the accident in mind and ensure safety as they do their job.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka was speaking to about 700 NRA officials.
Tanaka said he is always reminded of the enormous distress the accident caused whenever he talks with people in Fukushima Prefecture. Tanaka himself is from Fukushima.
He said NRA officials must be aware that whenever there's trouble at the crippled plant, a dark cloud of concern weighs on the minds of people who have been displaced by the accident.
Tanaka said it is important for NRA officials to keep the accident in mind and to consider what their responsibilities as they work.
He asked them to sympathize with nuclear accident victims, be aware of what is happening in Fukushima and reconfirm the meaning of the culture of safety.
Tanaka referred to the ongoing safety screening of 10 idled nuclear plants across Japan. He called on the officials to carry out their tasks, bearing in mind the need to prevent accident at the plants. The screening is a precondition for restarting the plants.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority and its secretariat were launched in September 2012. The country's former nuclear regulatory body was seen as failing in its watchdog role.

Japan observes 3rd anniversary of March 2011 quake
Memorials were held across Japan on Tuesday to observe the 3rd anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disasters of March 11th, 2011.

In Tokyo, about 1,200 people attended a government-sponsored memorial ceremony. They included the Emperor and Empress, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of those who lost family members.
The participants observed a moment of silence at 2:46 PM, the time the quake struck 3 years ago.

Abe said the government would speed up rebuilding efforts so that everyone affected could return to normal life as soon as possible. He pledged to build a nation that is resilient against natural disasters.
The Emperor said it is important that all people of Japan should unite their hearts and support each other for a long time so that those affected can live without losing their hopes and in good health.

Representatives of the bereaved families from the 3 hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima also spoke.
Mikiko Asanuma of Iwate Prefecture lost her child in the disaster. She said she will work to rebuild her hometown, which her child loved.
A representative from Fukushima Prefecture, Yukari Tanaka, lost her father. She said the disaster must never be forgotten so that such a tragedy is not repeated.

Authorities have so far confirmed that 15,884 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami. 2,633 others are still unaccounted for.
In Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, people offered prayers for 51 firefighters who died while helping residents evacuate from the tsunami.

In Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, a ceremony was held at a convention center where more than 1,000 people took shelter after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The city's 300 elementary school pupils sang a song written to support the recovery efforts from the disaster.

In Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, people still living in temporary housing gathered at a hill overlooking their hometown. They prayed for the victims, including 43 people who drowned in the tsunami while gathering at the town's disaster management office.

Population decline continues in disaster-hit areas

The populations of the 3 Japanese prefectures hardest hit by the 2011 disaster continued to decline.
NHK analyzed the population changes in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures between March first, 2011 and February first, 2014.
The total population dropped by more than 132,000 during the 3 years.
In the first year after the disaster, the population declined by about 85,000, as many people died or were evacuated.
In the second year, the number fell by 29,000, and the third year by 17,000.
Of the 3 prefectures, Fukushima saw the largest population decline -- more than 79,000 -- apparently due to the nuclear accident.
The numbers indicate that, given the slow progress in reconstruction projects, many residents are giving up on the hope of rebuilding their lives in their hometowns.
About 30,000 new homes are planned for those affected by the disaster, but only 3 percent of them were complete as of the end of February.
Progress in projects to relocate tsunami-stricken communities has also been slow. Only 10 percent of the areas planned for relocated communities had been developed as of the end of January.
But the populations began rising recently in some stricken areas, such as Iwanuma in Miyagi, due to progress in community relocation projects. Populations are also increasing in urban and inland areas such as Sendai and Morioka.

source : www3.nhk.or.jp


Japan Earthquake: Before and After
Photo Tour
source : www.theatlantic.com


kizuna 絆 the new bond between people


- - 2012 March 11 - Remember 2011 - -

- - 2012 March 11 - Poetry for Japan - -

. Radiation Problems - INFO .

. Reconstruction two years later - INFO .


. Toys and Talismans from Tohoku . 

. Regional Food from Tohoku .


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


TEPCO - 2014


TEPCO - January 2014

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (東京電力株式会社, Tōkyō Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha, TYO: 9501), also known as Toden (東電, Tōden) or TEPCO, is a Japanese electric utilities servicing Japan's Kantō region, Yamanashi Prefecture, and the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

With the Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo 2020
now even more in the limelight !

Please read the daily news at NHK here
Since November 2013, NHK has a new feature, "Nuclear Watch" !
source : www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english

. Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and Fukushima
東京オリンピック 2020 .

updates on this BLOG

特定秘密保護法案 Tokutei himitsu hogo hōan
The new secrecy bill. secrecy law is dangerous because Japan already has a lot of non-disclosable information and several related laws.
What will happen to the freedom of information, especially with respect to the problems of Fukushima?
- reference -

Geheimhaltungsgesetz, “Schutzgesetz” in Japan
vier Bereiche: Verteidigung, Diplomatie, Spionageabwehr und Terrorismusbekämpfung


- January 01, 2014 -

Nuclear plants unlikely to resume operations soon - NHK
Officials with the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan say no nuclear plants are likely to resume operations in the near future.
They set new safety standards last July following the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The guidelines call on operators to prepare for severe accidents and to reinforce facilities to make them earthquake-resistant.
Seven utilities have applied for safety screenings for 9 plants so they can restart operations.


- January 08, 2014 -

Decontamination system stops working - NHK
Tokyo Electric Power Company on Wednesday stopped using its systems to decontaminate radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
It has used the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, to remove radioactive substances from contaminated water stored at the site.
TEPCO officials say the crane to remove the container from the ALPS stopped working on Tuesday.
The container which stores radioactive substances has to be replaced when it gets full.
On Wednesday TEPCO stopped operating all 3 ALPS systems. It says it may take long time to restart.
The company intends to decontaminate all radioactive water stored in the tanks by March 2015.


- January 18, 2014 -

Water leak found inside Fukushima reactor building - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has found water pouring into a drain inside the number 3 reactor building.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it is yet to determine where the water comes from, or how much radioactive material it contains.
The company said that the water leak was spotted on the first floor of the reactor building on Saturday by a camera installed on a remote-controlled robot used for removing rubbles. It said that the water flow was about 30-centimeters wide and constant.
TEPCO added that the water is likely flowing toward the building's basement where a large amount of radioactive water has accumulated.
TEPCO says that inside the reactor building there is water for cooling melted fuel and water in the spent fuel storage pool. It says rain water may have entered the damaged building.
TEPCO is trying to find out the source of the leaking water by analyzing footage taken by the camera, as radiation levels are too high for workers to approach the site.


- January 19, 2014 -

Radioactive water leaking at Fukushima Daiichi
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says water leaking in the number 3 reactor building is most likely to have come from the containment vessel.
Tokyo Electric Power Company discovered the water flow on the first floor of the reactor building on Saturday.
The stream is about 30 centimeters wide and continuously pours into a drain.
An investigation showed the water contains nearly as high a level of radioactive materials as the contaminated water accumulating in the building's basement.
TEPCO says it detected 24 million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium, as well as 1.7 million becquerels per liter of Cesium 137. . . .


- January 23, 2014 -

Iwate Prefecture files petition against TEPCO - NHK
Prefectural and municipal governments in Iwate, northeastern Japan, have filed a petition with a state arbitrator to demand that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant pay nearly 14 million dollars in damages.
The claim is the first by a prefectural government against Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, since the nuclear accident at the facility in 2011.
Iwate Prefecture's government and municipalities, along with other organizations, had demanded that TEPCO pay 73.8 million dollars in decontamination and labor costs. The firm refused to pay about one fifth of the amount. . . . Ichinoseki City Mayor Osamu Katsube said radiation hot spots in southern parts of Iwate have affected local agriculture and livestock industries.
Katsube said TEPCO should fully acknowledge its responsibility and compensate as soon as possible.


- February 13, 2014 -

Record cesium level in Fukushima plant groundwater
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant says water samples taken from a newly-dug well contained the highest levels of radioactive cesium detected so far in groundwater at the site.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the record levels suggest that the leakage point could be near the well.
The utility on Thursday said it had detected 54,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 137 and 22,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 134 in water samples.
The samples were taken on Wednesday from a new observation well located 50 meters from the ocean near the Number 2 reactor.
The level of cesium 137 is 600 times the government standard for radioactive wastewater that can be released into the sea.
It is more than 30,000 times the level of cesium 137 found in water samples taken from another observation well to the north last week.
TEPCO officials believe radioactive water is leaking from an underground tunnel that extends from the reactor buildings towards the ocean. They have been taking measures to prevent the tainted water from reaching the sea, but have yet to determine where the leak originates.
TEPCO suspects the leakage point is near the new well because radioactive cesium is easily absorbed into soil and is unlikely to be carried over a wide area in groundwater.


- February 16, 2014 -

Water leaks from barrier found at Fukushima plant - NHK
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says officials have found water leaks at 7 locations in a barrier that surrounds tanks holding contaminated water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company officials said they confirmed on Sunday that water had leaked from the barrier near the Number 4 reactor. It's one of 30 barriers in the compound.
The officials said the amount of the leak was about 19.2 tons, which they believe seeped into the ground.
They detected 23 becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium 90 in water still inside the barrier.
The level is below the national standard for the discharge of contaminated water into the sea, but is 2.3 times the standard for discharging from the barriers.
Heavy rains last October caused the barriers to overflow. That prompted the utility to raise the height of the barriers.
The officials said the leaks occurred at connections between steel plates used to raise the height of the barrier and from where piping was installed in plates.
They said they are investigating why the leaks are concentrated at the barrier.


- February 19, / 20 2014 -

Thermometer out of order at Fukushima No.2 reactor - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says there is just one working thermometer monitoring the temperature of melted nuclear fuel in the plant's No.2 reactor.
Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Company say they have discovered a fault in one of the 2 thermometers used to monitor the lower part of the reactor's container vessel.
They say the problem was found this week after workers accidently caused a short circuit by delivering 250 volts of electricity instead of 100 volts during checks on the thermometers.
The company continues to pour water into the No.2 reactor to cool the melted fuel at the bottom.
A series of problems left just one of 9 thermometers working at the lower part of the pressure vessel by September 2012. The newly malfunctioning thermometer was installed later that year.
The utility's announcement came more than 24 hours after the abnormality was found on Tuesday.
Officials say they failed to immediately notice the problem since the faulty thermometer was showing a similar reading - about 20 degrees Celsius -- as the working one.
The officials say replacing the gauge is likely to take time because of high radiation levels in and around the reactor. They say a new thermometer will have to be inserted through a pipe.

Highly radioactive water leaks at Fukushima plant - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says water containing extremely high levels of radioactive substances has leaked from a storage tank.
Tokyo Electric Power Company officials said the leak was found on Wednesday night in one of the many tanks being stored on the mountain side of the reactor buildings.
They say the leaked water contained 230-million becquerels per liter of beta-ray emitting substances. The amount far exceeds government limits.
They say the water leaked from a seam near the top of the tank. It traveled along a rainwater pipe and flowed outside the barrier that surrounds the tank.
Officials say they have taken measures to stop the leakage. TEPCO estimates that about 100 tons of water had leaked.
The utility say the water should not have flowed into the ocean because there are no spillways near the tank that lead to the sea. Officials say their investigation is still underway.

Water leak may be due to workers' mistake - NHK, Feb. 21
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the latest spill of radioactive water from a mountainside tank may have been caused by worker error.
... TEPCO had said that one of the 3 valves that connects to the tank may have been out of order. But the utility officials have found from a photo taken on Wednesday that the valve is not broken.
... The utility is also reviewing ways to supervise engineers who handle valves and monitor water levels in a tank.
This is because the water level was not monitored properly at the time the valves were operated. And tools for closing and opening the valves were not stored properly.


- February 25, 2014 -

Fukushima No.4 reactor pool's cooling fan halts - NHK
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a cooling fan for the spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor has stopped working.
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Tuesday that a warning alarm for an electrical problem went off at 9:40 AM.
The firm says work to remove spent fuel from the pool has been suspended. But it says there are 2 cooling systems, so it will switch to the second one and cooling should resume by around 1 PM.
The pool temperature is now 13 degrees Celsius. TEPCO estimates that it will rise by about 0.3 degrees per hour.
The operator says a nearby electrical cable may have been damaged in excavation work. The company is looking into the cause of the fan failure.

Reactor pool cooling system stopped - NHK
The operator of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the cooling system for the spent fuel pool at the No.4 reactor stopped temporarily due to an accident.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says a short-circuit alarm went off at around 9:40 AM on Tuesday, and a part of the reactor pool cooling system lost power.
TEPCO says drilling work on a road south of the reactor damaged a power cable. Cooling resumed around 4 and half hours later after personnel switched the system to another power source.
The spent fuel pool was 13 degrees Celsius when the cooling system stopped. The utility says the temperature rose only slightly, and did not surpass the company's safety limit of 65 degrees.
Workers suspended removing spent nuclear fuel from the No.4 reactor pool due the power outage, but resumed shortly after 2:30 PM.


. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

. - - - Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 - and Fukushima - - -
東京オリンピック 2020 .


- quote
Cancer And Death by Radiation? Not From Fukushima
t’s always amazing when a United Nations report that has global ramifications comes out with little fanfare. The latest one states that no one will get cancer or die from radiation released from Fukushima, but the fear and overreaction is harming people (UNIS; UNSCEAR Fukushima; UNSCEAR A-68-46). This is what we’ve been saying for almost three years but it’s nice to see it officially acknowledged.

According to the report, drafted last year but only recently finalized by the U.N., “The doses to the general public, both those incurred during the first year and estimated for their lifetimes, are generally low or very low. No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants. The most important health effect is on mental and social well-being, related to the enormous impact of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, and the fear and stigma related to the perceived risk of exposure to ionizing radiation. Effects such as depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms have already been reported.”

In addition, the report states,
“Increased rates of detection of [thyroid] nodules, cysts and cancers have been observed during the first round of screening; however, these are to be expected in view of the high detection efficiency [using modern high-efficiency ultrasonography]. Data from similar screening protocols in areas not affected by the accident imply that the apparent increased rates of detection among children in Fukushima Prefecture are unrelated to radiation exposure.”
- source : www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

- - - The Year 2013 - - -

Reports about problems with TEPCO come up regularly, it seems, so NOW :
. TEPCO - since June 2013 .

and some news from the year 2014

- - - January 01

Noticeable earthquakes in Japan top 3,000 in 2012
The Japan Meteorological Agency says the number of noticeable earthquakes across the country this year topped 3,000. It says nearly 60 percent of them were aftershocks from last year's giant quake.
The agency said, as of Sunday, 3,134 quakes had been felt across Japan. That's about 1,000 more than the annual average from 2001 to 2010.
An analysis of seismic waves shows there were more than 10,000 noticeable quakes in 2011.
Agency officials say while the number of quakes decreased from last year, they continue to see frequent seismic activity.
They're asking people to be on the alert for possible strong quakes with a magnitude of at least 7 or those triggering tsunami.
(NHK world news)

Tsunami-hit city aims to be reborn - Higashi Matsushima
In a coastal city flattened by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a project is under way to rebuild the area as a self-sustaining community that will be in harmony with nature by making use of Danish knowhow on renewable energy.

52,000 people came to need care after disaster

More than 50,000 people in northeastern Japan have come to need care after the area was hit by the tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011.
Municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures have designated 52,000 people who require help. The towns and villages are located along the Pacific coast or near the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The number of people newly designated increased by about 16 percent in the area.
Local officials say they expect more people will need nursing care, since many in the region have been forced to live outside their homes.
Some of them have health problems due to stress or anxiety about their future.
52,000 people came to need care after disaster
(NHK world news)


- - - February 11

almost 2 years past . . .

CLICK for more photos !

moto ryooshi ase shite hama no gareki kaku

Former fisherman
sweating to clean the beach
still debris-piled

Shimizu Kyoko
source : www.ict.ne.jp/~basho-bp

It is painful to see the many local reports of fishermen trying to clean up, get new boats, make a catch and then trying desperately to sell the fish ...
so many have died . . .
so many have left the coastal areas to find a new existence elsewhere.
moto ryooshi - he used to be a fisherman but lost his home, boat, family members and fishermen friends, -
his former existence vanished in one moment due to the deadly tsunami

gareki - the huge mountains of debris still waiting on to be cleared on most of the beaches, a huge problem for the officials even after almost 2 years . . .
Nature has once again shown us humans that it takes its course in mighty strides . . .
We shall never forget !

new moon
half naked in the wind
the barren fields

Ella Wagemakers

two years on . . .
small children with growths
on their thyroid

Elaine Andre


- - - February 18th, 2013

Highest Yet:
Cesium levels in fish off Chiba coast exceed radiation limit for first time — 200 kilometers from Fukushima plant —
Due east of Tokyo
source : enenews.com


- - - March 02

WHO says only slightly higher cancer risk for Fukushima residents
Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, an international team of experts said Thursday that residents of areas hit by the highest doses of radiation face an increased cancer risk so small it probably won’t be detectable.

In fact, experts calculated the increase at about 1 extra percentage point added to a Japanese infant’s lifetime cancer risk.

“The additional risk is quite small and will probably be hidden by the noise of other (cancer) risks like people’s lifestyle choices and statistical fluctuations,” said Richard Wakeford of the University of Manchester, one of the authors of the report. “It’s more important not to start smoking than having been in Fukushima.”

The report was issued by the World Health Organization, which asked scientists to study the health effects of the disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.

The most exposed populations were directly under the plumes of radiation after three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant suffered meltdown and spewed radiation into the surrounding air, soil and water.

In the report, the highest increases in risk are for people exposed as babies to radiation in the most heavily affected areas. Normally in Japan, the lifetime risk of developing cancer of an organ is about 41 percent for men and 29 percent for women.
source : Japan Times

Japan riled by WHO's Fukushima cancer warning
Japan on Friday insisted warnings by the World Health Organization of a rise in the risk of cancer for people in Fukushima were overblown, saying the agency was unnecessarily stoking fears.

“Their calculations were made based on the assumption that people continued living inside the evacuation zone and ate banned food.
But there are no such people,” a ministry official said.
source : www.japantoday.com


- - - March 15 - NHK news

Experts: Cesium leak may be continuing
Researchers say contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could still be leaking into the port. They are calling for a thorough investigation.
A team from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology has been studying data on seawater directly in front of the plant. Tests of the port water show levels of radioactive cesium of up to 100 becquerels per liter. That level exceeds the government's safety standard.
Researchers calculated the total amount of radioactive substances in water spilling from the plant over a one-year period.
According to their calculation, about 16.1 trillion becquerels of cesium 137 may have leaked into the sea in the year since June 2011. That's about 73 times the safety discharge limit imposed before the accident in March 2011.
Experts say that amount of contamination won't threaten marine creatures in the open sea. But they say those in the port could be accumulating the radioactive substance.
. . . . . TEPCO officials have conducted their own surveys. They say they don't think that radioactive substances are leaking into the sea from the plant compound. They say the reasons for high cesium levels have yet to be clarified. They say they will continue to investigate.

220,000 tons of tsunami debris to reach N.America

Japan's Environment Ministry says tons of debris swept away by the March 2011 tsunami will reach North America from April.
The ministry on Friday released the results of its third and more precise computer simulation on the debris.
The report says the main part of the drifting debris, mostly lumber and wooden materials, will start to reach North American shores in April, 4 months later than initially forecast.
105,000 tons is to arrive by June and 221,000 tons by October.
The tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11th, 2011, is believed to have swept away 1.5 million tons of wreckage to the Pacific. Some has already arrived in North America and Hawaii.
Japan's government has provided 6 million dollars to the United States and Canada to help them dispose of the debris.
It also plans to provide the simulation results to the 2 countries.

. Takahashi Eikichi 高橋英吉 .
An artist from Ishinomaki town, now shown at a Sendai Museum.


- - - April 11 - NHK news

Fukushima schoolchildren clear of cesium
Schoolchildren living near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have come up clear of radioactive cesium in internal-exposure screenings.
Researchers led by the University of Tokyo examined roughly 1,400 elementary and junior high school children in Miharumachi, 50 kilometers from the crippled plant.
They carried out the tests from September to November last year.
Researchers said levels of cesium 137 in all tested children were below the detectable amount of 300 becquerels.
The same researchers implemented similar tests between November 2011 and February 2012. They found then up to 1,300 becquerels of cesium 137 in 54 children.
Researchers say the new results show that checks on food products have generally prevented children from ingesting radioactive material.
University of Tokyo professor and team member Ryugo Hayano said the researchers will continue to gather data so Fukushima residents can feel safe.
Researchers this time were able to test all schoolchildren in Miharumachi. Subjects of previous screenings took part on a voluntary basis, leading to doubts over the relevance of results.

TEPCO reports another water leak

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says more radioactive water has leaked at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The trouble occurred on Thursday during work to transfer contaminated water.
TEPCO said about 22 liters of water leaked through a pipe joint and seeped into soil covering an underground storage pool but did not flow into the nearby sea.
The firm estimated that substances with more than 6.3 billion becquerels of radioactivity leaked with the water.
Workers discovered the leak shortly after they started pumping contaminated water from a leaking pool to another pool. They immediately stopped the operation.
TEPCO said it hopes to restart the work after fixing the problem.
The pools were designed to store large amounts of contaminated water being produced constantly as a result of work to cool the plant's reactors.
TEPCO said on Wednesday after a series of leaks were found at some of the pools that it would stop using them. The firm said it would transfer the contaminated water stored there to tanks to be set up on the ground.
TEPCO was transferring the water between the 2 pools as a temporary measure until the tanks could be used.

Panel questions govt monitoring of Fukushima plant
A panel of experts from Japan's nuclear regulator has raised doubts about the government's monitoring of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. They also said the government lacked an understanding of the risks associated with reactors.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority panel met on Friday to discuss recent leaks of radioactive water from underground storage facilities in the Daiichi compound.

After the leaks were found by workers earlier this month, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has to quickly devise a plan to figure out a way to deal with the rising volume of water.
Some panel members said TEPCO may not have adequately tested the storage facilities before they were used.
The operator said their tests showed no abnormal data but they admitted that their tests may not have been adequate.
Nuclear Regulation Authority member, Toyoshi Fuketa, said the most serious problem is that the government does not fully understand the risks and did not set the right priorities.
He indicated that the authority will assess environmental risks in order to take steps of the highest priority.
Apr. 12, 2013


- - - April 12 - Japan Times

Rat, snakes, leaks betray just how frail Fukushima No. 1 is

A rat causing a power outage by short-circuiting a temporary switchboard. Another blackout occurring as workers install antirat nets. Holes in the linings of huge sunken reservoirs leaking radioactive water.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has run into a string of problems the past few weeks that highlight its precarious state more than two years after three of its six reactors melted down in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

A makeshift system of pipes, tanks and power cables meant to carry cooling water into the melted reactors and spent-fuel pools inside shattered buildings remains highly vulnerable, Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka acknowledged Wednesday.

“Fukushima No. 1 is still in an extremely unstable condition. There is no mistake about that,” Tanaka said at a weekly meeting of the regulatory body’s leaders. “We cannot rule out the possibility that similar problems might occur again. Whenever a problem occurs, it halts the plant’s operations and delays the primary goal of decommissioning the plant.”

The problems have raised doubts about whether the plant can stay intact through a decommissioning process that could take 40 years, prompting officials to compile risk-reduction measures and revise decommissioning plans. The regulatory watchdog said Wednesday it would add a ninth on-site inspector in order to better oversee the plant.
Just over the past three weeks, there have been at least eight accidents or problems at the plant, the NRA said.
The spate of problems started March 18, when a rat got into an outdoor switchboard — which was sitting on a pickup truck — powering the jury-rigged cooling system and several other key parts of the plant, causing a short-circuit and blackout that lasted 30 hours in some areas of the plant. Four storage pools for fuel rods lost cooling during the outage, causing Tepco to acknowledge that it had added backup power only to the reactors, despite repeated concerns raised over a pool meltdown.

The cause of the outage wasn’t clear at the time, but Tepco later released a photo of the electrocuted rat, which had fallen on the bottom of the switchboard housing. The most extensive outage since the crisis started after the March 2011 disasters caused more Fukushima residents to even consider evacuation.

Two weeks later, a new water processing machine designed to remove most radioactive elements temporarily stopped after a worker pushed a wrong button. The next day, one of the fuel storage pools lost power again for several hours when part of a wire short-circuited a switchboard while an operator installed antirat nets. Tepco reported three other minor glitches on the same day, including overheating of equipment related to boron injection to the melted reactors.

Regulators acknowledge that rats and snakes are abundant at the plant, and Tepco has started to take steps to protect pipes and cables from rat gnawing. Replacement of parts and equipment to those of higher quality and long-term use is in progress.

In the latest development, three of the plant’s seven sunken reservoirs are leaking. Tepco reported the first leak early Saturday, hours after the plant’s second power outage. Within days, it was learned that three reservoirs were leaking, paralyzing the plant’s storage plans for contaminated water.

Tepco says none of the about 120 tons of radioactive water that leaked was believed to have reached the ocean. Experts suspect the radioactive water has been leaking from the plant since early on in the crisis, citing high contamination in fish caught just off the plant.
The contaminated water is a headache for the plant, and by far the most serious of the recent problems because of its potential impact on water management and the environment.

The tanks are crucial to the management of contaminated water used to cool melted fuel rods at the plant’s wrecked reactors. They have since stabilized significantly, but the melted fuel inside must be kept cool with water, which leaks out of the reactors’ holes and ruptures and flows into basement areas.

“The contaminated water situation is on the verge of collapse,” Tanaka said. But he said there was no choice but to keep adding water, while trying to seek ways to minimize the leaks and their risks.

To address local outrage over the recent problems and Tepco’s failure to detect problems earlier, company President Naomi Hirose traveled to Fukushima and apologized Wednesday for the problems. He promised to expedite the construction of steel containers and move all the water there from the sunken reservoirs, at the request of industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

The reservoirs, all built by Maeda Corp., come in different sizes, including one the size of an Olympic swimming pool and similar to an industrial waste dump.
source : www.japantimes.co.jp


- - - April 20 - NHK news

. Carl Sundberg and the Aizu-Compufarm .


- - - May 30 - NHK news

"Frozen wall" considered for nuclear plant water
The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is still struggling to control the flow of groundwater into the reactor buildings 2 years after the accident.
A government panel is now proposing that a "frozen wall" be built around the buildings to prevent groundwater from seeping into the site.
The panel has been discussing measures against the groundwater since April when leaks were found in underground storage pools for contaminated water.
One measure being considered is to pump up the groundwater before it reaches the reactor site and release it into the ocean.
But the panel members say it would be difficult to contain 400 tons of groundwater per day. Fishermen also oppose the plan.
Another plan would be to bury coolant pipes and freeze the ground around the reactor buildings in order to make "frozen walls".
The panel members say the new plan comes with some technical difficulties. The operator would need to make sure that the groundwater level does not drop too much or else the contaminated water inside the site could seep out.
The panel will finalize the plan at a meeting on Thursday. It will call on the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company to urgently consider the plan.


- - - May 30 - NHK news

Nuclear authority to allow 2 reactors to run
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is set to allow the only 2 reactors remaining online in the country to continue operation.
Experts from the authority have been inspecting the reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant, in central Japan, to see if they can satisfy severe accident guidelines that take effect in early July.
- snip - Officials at the authority had presented the draft report for the plant last week. It says there is no immediate threat to the safety of the reactors. The experts approved that draft with the improvements.
The authority is expected to allow the reactors to continue operating through to September, when they will go down for regular maintenance. - snip -

. TEPCO - problems since 2013 - .


- - - September 12, 2014 - NHK news

Some of the inundated land remains untouched
NHK has learned that some of the land along the coastal area flooded by the 2011 tsunami remains unused.
Municipal governments in northeastern Japan that were hit by the disaster have purchased land in the inundated areas. They hope the financial assistance will help former residents move to higher ground away from the sea.
Officials of 25 municipal governments in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures told NHK that they have so far purchased a total of 2,600 hectares for about 2.1 billion dollars.
They said that 37 percent of the purchased land remains unused after the disaster because they have no idea at present how to utilize the land.
Some officials said that the pieces of land are scattered, making it difficult to put them to use.
They also said that businesses may hesitate to move into the areas that were once flooded by tsunami.


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD . .
. . Japan Times - JT . .



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


TEPCO - December 2013


TEPCO - December 2013

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (東京電力株式会社, Tōkyō Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha, TYO: 9501), also known as Toden (東電, Tōden) or TEPCO, is a Japanese electric utilities servicing Japan's Kantō region, Yamanashi Prefecture, and the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

With the Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo 2020
now even more in the limelight !

Please read the daily news at NHK here
Since November 2013, NHK has a new feature, "Nuclear Watch" !
source : www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english

. Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and Fukushima
東京オリンピック 2020 .

updates on this BLOG

特定秘密保護法案 Tokutei himitsu hogo hōan
The new secrecy bill. secrecy law is dangerous because Japan already has a lot of non-disclosable information and several related laws.
What will happen to the freedom of information, especially with respect to the problems of Fukushima?
- reference -

Geheimhaltungsgesetz, “Schutzgesetz” in Japan
vier Bereiche: Verteidigung, Diplomatie, Spionageabwehr und Terrorismusbekämpfung


- November 30, 2013 -

- short note from TV
Since all the water storage tanks are full, Tepco will stop doing anything about the infected water for a while.
(meaning, it will flow into the ocean without treatment or anything . . .)

Fukushima people learn how to deal with radiation - NHK news
Experts on radiation protection have met with residents around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to discuss how to deal with daily exposure to harmful substances. . . . The residents added that many young people have not returned to the area because they are worried about exposure to radiation.


- December 03, 2013 -

ALPS system shut down over leak - Japan Times
A trouble-prone system used to decontaminate radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was switched off Sunday because of a chemical leak, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
Hydrochloric acid, used to neutralize alkaline water being decontaminated, was found seeping from a pipe joint, Tepco said in a statement.
The joint was wrapped in a vinyl bag to contain the leakage, Tepco said, adding it was investigating the cause of the trouble.
About 1 liter of hydrochloric acid has been contained in the bag.
The leak was found at one of three Advanced Liquid Processing System units designed to remove radioactivity from contaminated water at the plant, where a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 sent nuclear reactors into meltdown.

Govt. panel urges additional wastewater measures - NHK
A government panel has drafted a report on additional measures to control the radioactive wastewater accumulating at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The government in September announced drastic measures, such as freezing the soil around the reactor buildings to prevent groundwater from getting in.
On Tuesday, the panel called for the rapid implementation of 5 backup measures, including building large storage tanks with double outer walls, and sealing cracks and piping holes with concrete.
It says a plan to pave the ground with asphalt to prevent rainwater from seeping in will be effective, while a measure to surround the wall of frozen soil with another wall was put off for later discussion.
The panel also said the handling of wastewater containing radioactive tritium should be studied by a team of experts to be set up by the government this month.
The measures will be implemented with reference to proposals by experts and engineers in Japan and abroad.


- December 05, 2013 -

IAEA: Tritium may have to be discharged into sea - NHK
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency say tritium in wastewater at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have to be discharged into the ocean.
The IAEA probe team released a preliminary report on Wednesday on its investigation, started on November 25th, to help in the decommissioning work at the plant. They interviewed government and plant operator officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company and conducted on-site inspections at the plant.
The report says TEPCO should step up efforts to remove radioactive substances from wastewater accumulating in the plant's tanks and other places. ...
A team of experts sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggested Wednesday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. should consider discharging toxic water from the Fukushima No. 1 plant into the ocean after lowering the level of radioactive materials to less than the legal limit.
The proposal by the international nuclear watchdog was part of its call on Tepco to improve its management of the increasing amount of radioactive water at the crippled facility and ensure a safe decommissioning process.
Such a step would draw an angry reaction from people, including commercial fishermen, worried about further contamination of the Pacific.
“Controlled discharge is a regular practice at all nuclear facilities in the world,” Juan Carlos Lentijo, director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, told a news conference in Tokyo as the team wrapped up its inspection of the plant.
Lentijo headed the team of 19 experts that arrived Nov. 25 to check the decommissioning efforts, including the radioactive water problem and the removal of fuel rod assemblies from the spent fuel pool high in the reactor building 4.


- December 06, 2013 -

Highest radiation levels measured outside reactor - NHK
Tokyo Electric Power Company says radiation levels are extremely high in an area near a ventilation pipe at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TEPCO found radiation of 25 sieverts an hour on a duct, which connects reactor buildings and the 120-meter-tall ventilation pipe.
The estimated radiation level is the highest ever detected outside reactor buildings. People exposed to this level of radiation would die within 20 minutes.
The exhaust pipe in question was used to release radioactive gases following the outbreak of the accident 2 years ago.
TEPCO says radioactive substances could remain inside the pipes.


- December 10, 2013 -

Govt. panel calls for quick wastewater measures - NHK
A government panel has called for quick backup measures to control radioactive wastewater accumulating at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The government is working to freeze soil around the plant's reactor buildings to keep out groundwater. It's also building a wall along a coastal embankment to keep wastewater from seeping out to sea. But the measures are taking too long, and their effectiveness is in doubt.
The panel recommended a series of supplemental measures that include building double-walled storage tanks and sealing cracks in the buildings with concrete to keep out groundwater. It also called for paving large parts of the plant's compound with asphalt to keep rainwater out.
The panel also suggested that a team of experts assess the risks and technological challenges of handling wastewater containing radioactive tritium, and reach a conclusion by the end of March.


- December 12, 2013 -

18 firms told to end overwork at Fukushima plant - NHK
Japan's labor watchdog has told 18 firms to end overwork among employees at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
A labor standards inspection office in Fukushima Prefecture gave the correction advice to Toshiba and its 17 subcontractors.
Officials with the Fukushima Labor Bureau say the firms made employees work around radioactive water longer than legally allowed.
Japan's labor standards law permits only 10 hours of work a day when there are potential health risks. That includes maximum overtime of 2 hours.
Toshiba and its subcontractors admitted having some workers put in a few hours more a day between July and October.
Company officials told NHK they mistakenly understood that hours spent in preparation or waiting did not have to be counted in the daily limit.
The officials say they have corrected their practices after receiving the advice.


- December 13, 2013 -

TEPCO releases findings on meltdown
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says an early breakdown of a cooling system likely led to a meltdown at one of the facility's reactors after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo Electric Power Company on Friday released its findings on the accident at the Number 3 reactor, in a follow-up to a study made public in June 2012.
The previous study said the meltdown began at about 10:40 AM on March 13th -- 2 days after the disaster.
The new report includes an analysis of how the accident started. It says readings of a gauge early that morning showed that water levels inside the reactor were low enough to expose part of its fuel.
The low levels indicate that an emergency cooling system had malfunctioned.
The report also says fire engines began injecting water soon after 9 AM that day, but that the measure may have been ineffective because of pipe leaks.
The firm says similar leaks occurred at the 2 other reactors at the plant that had meltdowns.
The utility plans to continue looking into why and how massive amounts of radioactive substances were released from the damaged reactors.


- December 16, 2013 -

IAEA demonstrates aerial radiation monitor - NHK
The International Atomic Energy Agency has demonstrated an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to measure radiation levels in areas too dangerous for humans to access.
The aircraft on Monday hovered over Fukushima City near the site of the 2011 nuclear accident.
The prototype was designed based on a disc-shaped aircraft used for inspecting post-disaster sites around the world.
Presently, an unmanned helicopter developed by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency monitors radiation levels over evacuation zones in the prefecture.
But the IAEA 6-rotor prototype is easier to maneuver. It can thread its way close to building walls and electric cables.
It is radio-controlled. It can fly on automatic pilot by pre-programming data regarding the topography and buildings in the area.
The IAEA hopes to make the aircraft available to Fukushima prefecture in 2 years after test flights in the no-go zones.


- December 18, 2013 -

French journalists inspect Fukushima Pref. - NHK
French journalists have toured Fukushima Prefecture to see how residents are tackling radiation contamination from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
French radiation protection specialists arranged the tour for about 20 journalists. The specialists are concerned that French media reports on Fukushima may not have been accurate.
The journalists visited Yanagawa Town in Date City. They observed radiation checks of dried persimmons, a local specialty. Firms recently resumed shipments of the persimmons for the first time in 3 years.
The reporters heard that contamination levels have all been within the safety standard.
They also visited a former peach orchard that now serves as a first point of storage for contaminated soil.
The journalists learned that authorities were able to secure the use of the site with the cooperation of locals.
Pierre LE HIR, a reporter for Le Monde newspaper, said it was impressive to see how hard people are working to ensure local farm produce is safe for consumption.
He said he hopes to correct sometimes biased views about Fukushima in France through his reporting.

TEPCO decides to decommission 2 more reactors - NHK
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has officially decided to decommission the facility's 2 reactors that escaped serious damage in the 2011 disaster.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, made the decision at its board meeting on Wednesday. Four of the plant's 6 reactors were crippled due to meltdowns or hydrogen explosions in their buildings.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in September urged the utility to decommission the plant's No. 5 and 6 reactors. The 4 others were already being decommissioned.
TEPCO gained approval for the decision from 2 host towns last week. The firm's president Naomi Hirose plans to report on the move to Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday.
The decision means the utility needs at least 260 million dollars more for decommissioning. Part of the additional cost is expected to be passed on to consumers through higher electricity fees.
TEPCO does not plan to immediately dismantle the No. 5 and 6 reactors and their buildings. They are to be used to test technologies and train workers to remove melted fuel and dismantle facilities at the plant's No.1 to 4 reactors. . . .


- December 20, 2013 -

Radioactive cesium detected in deeper groundwater - NHK
Tokyo Electric Power Company says radioactive substances have been detected in water samples taken from deep underground at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Highly radioactive substances had been detected in previous months in shallow groundwater that was found to be leaking into the ocean.
But for the first time in December, TEPCO investigators detected radioactivity in groundwater taken from a layer 25 meters beneath the No. 4 reactor's well facing the ocean.
In a water sample taken on Tuesday of last week, 6.7 becquerels per liter of Cesium 137 and 89 becquerels per liter of strontium and other beta ray-emitting radioactive substances were detected.
TEPCO officials say radioactive substances may have been mistakenly mixed during the process of getting the sample.
But they are concerned that if contamination of deeper layers of groundwater is confirmed, it could be another source that is leaking into the ocean. The inspectors plan a further examination.
Meanwhile, at the No. 2 reactor, the density of beta ray-emitting radioactivity in groundwater has been rising since November. On Thursday, it registered a record 1.9 million becquerels per liter.


- December 22, 2013 -

Water leaks found near Fukushima tank barrier - NHK
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says 1.6 tons of radioactive water is estimated to have drained into the ground from the barrier surrounding tanks storing contaminated water.
TEPCO officials said they found water coming from the barrier's foundation joints on Saturday afternoon.
They also said they measured 93 becquerels per liter of strontium 90 in the water remaining within the fence. The radiation level is about 9 times the national limit for water allowed to be released from the barrier.
The officials said they believe cause of the leakage was deteriorated joints.
They also said that, from the radiation level, they believe the leaked water is not radioactive water from the tanks but rainwater that had collected inside the fence.
They added that they think the high level of strontium 90 was detected because the rainwater absorbed radioactive materials that have been spreading in the environment since the March 2011 accident.
They confirmed that no radioactive water leaked into the ocean, as there are no drainage systems leading to the sea near the site.
- a bit later it was
New fix may be needed for leaks from tank barrier
TEPCO officials say an estimated 2.6 tons of water leaked through joints at 2 locations on the barrier's concrete bottom.
They say up to 190 becquerels per liter of strontium 90 were detected in the water inside the barrier. That radiation level is about 19 times the allowed national limit for radioactive water to be released from the barrier. . . .


- December 23, 2013 -

TEPCO taking watertight measures for barriers - NHK
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is coating the surface of all barriers around contaminated water tanks at the plant to prevent further radioactive water leaks.
TEPCO officials found radioactive water seeping out of the barriers at 4 locations over the weekend.
They say that at two locations degraded resin that seals concrete seams caused the leak. They made sure the leaks had stopped after repairing the seals.
At 2 other locations, they say water was leaking from cracks in the concrete, which they suspect was caused by cold weather. They plan to fill the gaps.
The utility plans to coat the surface of all of the barriers, about 20, as similar problems could appear in other locations.
TEPCO says more than 3 tons of water leaked, and the radiation levels were higher than the allowed national limit for radioactive water to be released from the barriers. But the utility denies the water flowed into the sea, as there are no drainage systems leading there.

Falling water levels within barriers hint at leaks - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says water levels have dropped sharply inside another 2 barriers surrounding contaminated water tanks.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says its workers discovered the phenomenon on Tuesday at 2 barriers near the number 4 reactor building. The water levels in question were last checked on Friday.
TEPCO officials say the water levels dropped 11 centimeters from Friday inside one barrier, and 7 centimeters in the other.
They say nothing suggests that the water leaked into the surrounding ground. And they have noticed no changes in water levels in tanks in the area.
TEPCO officials say the water within the barriers contains up to 440 becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium--- 44 times the government limit for radioactive water to be released from the barrier.
The officials suspect that the water might have gradually seeped into the soil beneath the tank lots.
They plan to drain the water within the barriers and find out what caused the water levels to fall. The utility suspects cracks in the concrete barriers.
Contaminated water leaks from similar lots have already been discovered at 4 different locations over the weekend.


- December 27, 2013 -

Deteriorated joints may be cause of water leaks - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says deteriorated resin filler probably caused water leaks from barriers surrounding contaminated water tanks.
Tokyo Electric Power Company found a total of 225 tons of water leaked from 2 concrete barriers at the plant on Tuesday.
It also found that the remaining water in the barriers contained radioactive strontium at a level of up to 44 times higher than the government limit.
TEPCO says it drained the water from the barriers and no cracks were seen at the bottom of the concrete.
After applying resin over the joints on bottom, no water leaked.
Thus the utility concludes the joint resin filler probably deteriorated, causing the leaks.
Water leaks in other barriers were discovered earlier this month. A drop in temperature is believed to have widened the space among joints.
TEPCO says it will apply resin on the bottom of all of about 20 barriers at the plant and step up monitoring water levels.


. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

. - - - Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 - and Fukushima - - -
東京オリンピック 2020 .


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]